Pro Bono Honors Pledge Program

Washington College of Law was founded on the principle of advancing the causes of low-income and underrepresented people. The Pro Bono Honors Pledge Program furthers this goal by recognizing the voluntary, uncompensated work undertaken by WCL students while at the law school on behalf of low-income and underrepresented populations or for the public good. The program is also designed to encourage students to continue carrying out pro bono service in their careers as attorneys after graduation, and is a great way to get experience in a field of possible interest.

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Photo credit: George Washington, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Program Requirements

Through the program, students pledge to complete a minimum of 75 hours of pro bono and community service projects at organizations working on behalf of low-income and underrepresented populations or for the public good. At least 50 hours of the pro bono work completed must be with an organization engaged primarily in law-related or legal work. However, students may complete up to 25 of their 75 hours in non-legal community service work.

Recognition for your Service

Students who complete the pledge prior to the end of their final year at WCL will be distinguished in the graduation bulletin. Additionally, graduating students who have completed the pledge will be recognized at a public service awards ceremony each spring with distinction based on the total number of hours completed: Honors (75-124 hours), Outstanding Service Honors (125-174 hours) and Exceptional Service Honors (175+ hours). There are no negative consequences for students who do not meet their pledge.

Identify Pro-Bono Opportunities

  • Guide to Public Interest Organizations in DC: The Office of Public Interest maintains a listing of Public Interest Organizations in the DC Area. Students may wish to approach these organizations to inquire about volunteer opportunities. Student organizations and individual students are welcome and encouraged to create their own pro bono projects.
  • Public Interest Listserv: To stay up-to-date and receive any new information about pro bono opportunities, please consider joining The OPI Informer. Each week, the Office of Public Interest sends a digest that includes information for students and alumni about public interest events, internship postings, pro bono opportunities, job listings, tips and a student/alumni spotlight. Only one email is sent each week.

New York Bar Requirements

On September 14, 2012, the New York State Court of Appeals adopted a new rule establishing a pro bono requirement that affects admission to the New York State bar.  Effective January 1, 2013, all candidates who will be admitted to the NY bar after January 1, 2015, with the exception of admission on motion candidates, will need to fulfill the new pro bono requirement. Pursuant to 520.16 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals, applicants who successfully pass the NY bar examination must demonstrate that they have performed 50 hours of qualifying pro bono service prior to seeking admission to the NY bar. To learn more about the requirement, please visit the the information page of the New York State Unified Court System.

Check out our exciting Upcoming Events

September 25 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays September 26 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Free Yoga with the Washington Yoga Center! September 26 12:00PM-1:00PM Warren Building - N102 Orange is the New Black: Race, Class, Sexuality, Identity, and the Criminal Justice System in Popular Culture September 26 12:00PM-1:30PM Warren Building - NT03 Human Rights Reading Group September 27 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class September 27 5:30PM-7:30PM Viacom,1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 Fall New York Alumni Reception September 28 5:00PM-7:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 On the Docket: Looking Ahead at the New Supreme Court Term September 28 5:00PM-7:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 On the Docket: Looking Ahead at the New Supreme Court Term September 28 5:30PM-8:00PM Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center,901 K St NW Alumni and Students Intellectual Property Networking Reception October 02 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 03 9:00AM-2:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Red Cross Blood Drive October 03 12:00PM-1:30PM Washington College of Law Legalized Families in the Era of Bordered Globalization October 03 6:00PM-9:00PM Rio de Janeiro, Brazil EducationUSA LLM Fair Rio de Janeiro October 04 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 04 6:00PM-9:00PM Brasilia, Brazil Education USA LLM Fair - Brasilia October 05 5:30PM-7:30PM 601 Massachusetts Ave, N, Washington, DC Twelfth Annual International Commercial Arbitration Lecture October 06 6:00PM-9:00PM WCL Alumni Reception for Professor Robert Vaughn October 07 10:00AM-1:00PM Sao Paulo, Brazil EducationUSA LLM Fair - Sao Paulo October 09 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 09 6:00PM-9:00PM Buenos Aires, Argentina EducationUSA LLM Fair - Buenos Aires October 11 11:30AM-1:30PM Washington College of Law International Law Abroad Table Talks October 11 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 11 5:00PM-6:00PM Warren Building - NT02 Information Session: Veteran's Pro Bono Legal Clinic October 11 6:00PM-9:00PM Santiago, Chile EducationUSA LLM Fair - Santiago October 12 12:00PM-1:00PM Warren Building - N104 Pro- Bono Information Session: Washington Lawyers' Committee Workers’ Rights Clinic October 12 12:00PM-1:30PM Yuma Building - Y401 Transatlantic Consumer Protection: The Case of Medical Devices October 12 5:00PM-7:00PM Washington College of Law Gender and Family Law Resume Review Session October 12 6:00PM-9:00PM Lima, Peru EducationUSA LLM Fair - Lima October 16 12:00PM-1:00PM Yuma Building - YT16 Equal Justice Works Career Fair Prep Session October 16 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 16 6:00PM-9:00PM Education USA LLM Fair - Bogota October 17 8:30AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 XIII Symposium on International Trade October 18 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 20 7:45AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition October 20 9:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 Fall Sports Law Symposium October 21 7:45AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition October 23 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 25 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 26 12:30PM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Next Steps in Health Reform 2017 October 26 6:00PM-7:30PM Warren Building - NT01 Sixth Annual Peter A. Jaszi Distinguished Lecture on Intellectual Property with Professor Rebecca Tushnet October 26 6:15PM-8:15PM Yuma Building - Y112 Preserving Perspectives: International Arbitrators in Their Own Words October 26 6:15PM-8:30PM Yuma Building - Y112 Preserving Perspectives: International Arbitrators in Their Own Words October 27 8:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Next Steps in Health Reform October 27 8:45AM-3:30PM Warren Building - NT08 Unlocking the Promise of Antitrust Enforcement October 30 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 31 12:00PM-1:30PM Yuma Building - YT01 A Conversation with David Rubenstein November 01 12:00PM-1:30PM Capital Building - Commons Gender and Law Course Advising November 01 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 03 8:00AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law 2017 National SJD Roundtable November 06 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 07 12:00PM-12:50PM Washington College of Law Gender and Law Lunch and Learn: Forced Labor Trafficking Panel November 08 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 10 9:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 Anatomy of Justice: An Honest Conversation on the Criminal Justice System in 2017 November 13 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 15 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 20 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 22 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class
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